Baskin-Robbins Goes Soft

After rolling out soft ice cream regionally last year, Baskin-Robbins is taking the launch national this month with a TV campaign.

Advertising, via Cliff Freeman and Partners, plays up the chain’s point of differentiation–its variety of flavors. An initial ad shows kids bombarding a white ice cream truck with colorful explosions (Tagline: “Don’t be so vanilla.”)

Baskin, known for its 31 flavors of hard ice cream, offers 31 “ways to deliver” soft ice cream, said David Nagel, the chain’s director of brand excitement. Those include different toppings including Magic Sprinkles that change color when you lick the ice cream. Nagel said research showed that consumers often saw soft ice cream and hard ice cream as disparate eating occasions. “We didn’t want to have to share those,” he said. “And we realize our competition couldn’t easily enter our space.”

The effort also includes an iPhone app called the Yay! Button that helps consumers find the nearest Baskin location.